Energy curtailment season begins at the med center

The UNMC community is familiar with “energy curtailment,” when colleagues and students are asked to help the campus by using less energy on days when the combined heat and humidity put extra stress on campus energy systems. Starting today, the med center will be in and out of curtailment throughout the summer.

By using less energy on curtailment days, the med center:

  • ensures continuity of essential systems for critical hospital and research functions;
  • reduces pollution;
  • improves the health of the entire community; and
  • helps save money — both now (consumption) and for the next 12 months as the next year’s electrical rate is based on UNMC and Nebraska Medicine’s maximum usage at any given point in time. This is always important, but especially now, as budgets are tight.

So what simple things can be done to help?

  • Close shades, blinds and curtains whenever possible to reduce solar heat gain;
  • When on campus and others aren’t, please help by closing window coverings and turning off any lights or equipment not being used;
  • Lower lighting levels where possible, turn off lights in unoccupied areas and when leaving a room;
  • Turn off and unplug all electrical equipment not in use (computers, coffee makers, printers, chargers, etc.);
  • Shut fume hood sashes when not in use;
  • Open doors manually instead of using the ADA buttons if possible
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator; and
  • Tell others.

Updated technology has allowed the med center to control curtailment better. It is possible that workspaces will get warmer as the day goes on, but there shouldn’t be any freezing spaces. For a full explanation, see the Energy Curtailment page.

Spaces are not controlled individually, the system cools larger areas. So while the med center has a temperature range to maintain, it’s possible a colleague’s individual space may not be the exact preferred temperature. Only call 402-552-3347 (Nebraska Medicine) or 402-559-4050 (UNMC) to report spaces colder than 66 degrees or warmer than 78 degrees.

Patient care and research spaces are not affected by energy curtailment.

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